What a wild week in tech it has been this week. As we get excited about the upcoming flagship smartphone season this fall, the summer is not done with major tech stories just yet. The news this week focused on events in Washington, but it was also marked by the end of Q2 2020 and the release of companies' financial results. Here are our winners and losers of the week just gone.
Normally, we like to talk about our winners of the week first, followed by our losers. However, there is only really one place to start this week, and that's with the big tech congressional hearings in Washington. Forgive us for being a little pessimistic, but it's the losers that take center stage this week.
Loser(s) of the week: Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook
Wednesday saw the culmination of a year-long anti-trust investigation into America's biggest tech firm and their monopoly business practices. The faces of the largest tech giants were forced to suit up, sit down, and face questions in what turned out to be a fairly decent grilling from representatives from both sides of the house.
You know these grinning faces from the stages of the big tech showcase launches. They're usually standing in front of presentations telling you that their amazing teams have made the "best-ever" of this or that. This week we saw a slightly more sober side to the celebrity big tech CEOs.
Tim Cook of Apple, Sundar Pichai of Alphabet/Google, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon all faced the music this week. Ranking them in terms of their performance is difficult, but Pichai seemed the most out of sorts. Bezos spoke confidently but chatted biscuits throughout. Zuckerberg is no stranger to testifying but it impossible to defend Facebook practices and not look like an idiot. Whilst Tim Cook trying to claim that developers who didn’t like the App Store have lots of other places to go whilst keeping a straight face is always going to be amusing, especially when you factor in the accompanying emails that have leaked.
"We have a policy against using seller-specific data to aid our private label business, but I can't guarantee you that that policy has never been violated," Jeff Bezos tells Dem. Rep Jayapal when asked about using seller data to make business decisions. https://t.co/rIw3QVj5oB pic.twitter.com/jhmSpj3mji— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) July 29, 2020
Some have called this the grand opera of American politics, but one character was notably missing. Microsoft's absence is significant given that the company has been facing monopoly accusations since the mid-90s. If any new anti-trust legislation is going to come as a result of this, Microsoft will surely be affected too. Room for one more, congressmen and women?
Winner of the week: Huawei holds onto top spot
It's official: Huawei is the world's number one smartphone manufacturer. The Chinese company has briefly taken top spot from Samsung back in April, but the overtaking was largely written off as circumstantial and the South Koreans were expected to be back on top by now.
Naturally, one might ask, how is Huawei doing this given that its smartphones cannot even ship with Google apps and services thanks to the U.S. embargo? According to the experts, 72% of Huawei's sales in Q2 2020 came from China, where the big Google-shaped hole in your new P40 Pro is not such an issue. Samsung has less than 1% market share in China, and it's on home soil where Huawei has been able to overtake the market leader.
Samsung will next week launch its new Note 20 series smartphones, and the company will be hoping to capture the imagination of consumers in Europe and North America with its new phablet and S-Pen. We'll have to wait and see how that one turns out, but the race for number one is certainly getting exciting.
Who were you winners and losers of the week just gone? Share your picks below the line.